The recent Bernie Sanders unity tour with DNC Chairman Tom Perez turned out to be a total disaster. Senator Sanders spent much of the week bashing Democrats, pointing out that he isn’t one, and embarrassing his host, Chairman Perez. Sanders’ comments during the week once again illustrated that the Sanders element of the party is not a friend or ally of the Democratic Party. Rather, it wants to neuter the party, render it impotent, and cast off the party leadership along with its mainstream supporters. Every day it becomes clearer that there is no “Sanders wing of the Democratic Party”. Instead of embracing the party that Sanders has never seen fit to join, he and his supporters are hell bent on replacing it. The days when the ideological left embraced one another while working together are gone. Sadly, but most urgently, the DNC must give Bern notice.
The Faux unity tour, where the new DNC and Sanders opposed Chairman, Tom Perez, hit the road together, basically crashed and burned on April 18, 2017, when the two men sat side-by-side during an interview with Chris Hayes on MSNBC. Hayes asked the Independent Socialist Senator from Vermont if he considered himself a Democrat, Sanders replied,
The Independent Senator also said that,
Sanders also spent the week saying that he did not think that the voters choosing the Republican candidate in 2016 were deplorable. He was also critical of the Democratic Party during the tour on the issue of healthcare. So much for Democratic Party unity.
The behavior by Senator Sanders leading up to the recent failed unity tour with Chairman Perez also has been anything but gracious or magnanimous, nor was it in the 2016 primary battle between Candidate Clinton and Candidate Sanders. In contrast, the 2008 race between then Senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and then Senator Barack Obama, which was much closer than the 2016 Clinton versus Sanders primary contest, going down to the wire, Senator Clinton put down her sword conceding to and endorsing Senator Obama five days after the last primary. Candidate Clinton did not contest the nomination at the Democratic National Convention releasing her delegates to the presumptive nominee, Senator Obama. Clinton did all that she could to unite the Democratic Party going into the convention. Both Clinton and Obama were gracious and magnanimous towards each other, and President Obama rewarded Senator Clinton nominating her as his first Secretary of State.
Despite being impossibly behind Secretary Clinton following the last Democratic primary on June 14, 2016, Senator Sanders refused to quit the race. Candidate Sanders vowed that there would be a contested convention, finally breaking and endorsing Clinton on July 12, 2016, less than two weeks before the start of the Democratic National Convention.
Long before the Vermont Senator officially quit the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, he was getting help form the leading Republican candidate. On May 16, 2016, the now Twitterer in Chief, tweeted the following message in support of the Democratic second place finisher,
“Bernie Sanders is being treated very badly by the Dems. The system is rigged against him. He should run as an independent! Run Bernie, run.”
On April 1st of 2015, Sanders announced his candidacy for president in 2016. He generated a great deal of enthusiasm among new voters, and was graciously welcomed into the race by Hillary Clinton, the presumed frontrunner.
Over the next 13 months, Bernie Sanders had his day before the court of public opinion. He gave it a good run, getting the chance to make his points to the American people. He succeeded in getting most of his signature goals included in the Democratic Party platform, about which the Sanders campaign said,
“We now have the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party.”
The defeat of Secretary Clinton by the current President represents one of the greatest lost opportunities for progressivism, and what could possibly be one of the darkest eras in our nation’s proud history. Apparently it was not the platform but the position that was more important to the Independent Socialist from Vermont, who worked so hard to present himself as a warrior and man of his people.
Instead of graciously accepting his defeat to the better woman, Sanders and his supporters whined, blaming the loss on bias and election rigging orchestrated by the DNC, Hillary Clinton, and her supporters. Emboldened by the Russian-backed Wikileaks releases of the DNC and John Podesta emails , and despite suspicions that the Clinton nomination,
“No proof that they used the resources of the Democratic Party to aid Clinton or hurt Sanders.”
Predictably, the new President picked up on Sanders concerns, echoing them in multiple interviews prior to the election, warning that if he lost it would be due to some sort of massive rigging or fraud against him. After having told Sean Hannity of Fox News in an early August, 2016 appearance that,
“The email leak proved that the primary election was “rigged” against Sanders.”
He followed that up on election day, 2016, telling Hannity that,
“I think it was rigged against Bernie Sanders with this super delegates nonsense.”
Of course, Vladimir Putin’s official English language outlet in the United States, RT Today, also picked up the claim.
Senator Sanders has continued his divisive behavior since the November 2016 general election, which has resulted in what we have seen to date as the worst administration ever. On February 2, 2017, Sanders delivered the keynote address at the Sister Giant Conference in Washington, D.C., at which he said very kind words about the Republican candidate’s voters, while once again saying that the victory by the 2016 Republican presidential candidate was the result of
“A gross political failure of the Democratic Party.”
Then, there was the April 1, 2017 Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren rally in Boston, Massachusetts, sponsored by Our Revolution. Sanders told the assembled crowd essentially the same thing he told the Sister Giant Conference two months earlier, saying that,
“It was that the Democratic Party lost the election.”
Recently, Senator Sanders refused to endorse or to assist Jon Ossoff who was running in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District’s special election to replace the new Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price. Speaking of Mr. Ossoff, Sanders told the Washington Post that,
Shortly before the April 18, 2017 election, the new Republican President jumped in with a robo call designed to tip the scales against Jon Ossoff, who had a huge primary advantage over the leading Republican candidate, Karen Handel. We will never know, but had Sanders given some support to Ossoff, he might have eclipsed the 50% mark required to have won the Congressional seat outright on that day, rendering the June 20, 2017 runoff between Ossoff and Handel unnecessary.
Three days after Ossoff cleared the field in the primary, in a what seems like another attempt to help the Republicans while hurting Democrats, Sanders gave Jon Ossoff a tepid endorsement. The damage already done continues, as the April 21, 2017 statement released by the office of the Independent Socialist Senator from Vermont still does not refer to Ossoff as a progressive.
The most recent assault on Democrat Party unity coming from Sanders was directed towards the 44th President of the United States, now private citizen, Barack Obama. Senators Sanders has called the fees to be paid President Obama for a Wall Street health conference, “distasteful’ and “unfortunate.” Of course, the right wing media and RT Today have picked up on the criticism leveled against President Obama by Sanders.
Senator Sanders has indeed shown a fallacy in his words concerning the evils of wealth controlling our political process, and what he constantly reminds us of a “rigged economy”. He will always tell us that,
“The rich are too rich. Those with power have too much. The middle class is withering. Inequality is a crisis, and the system is rigged.”
Yet, his followers look past his ongoing 35 year political career which has helped Sanders join the ranks of the well to do, estimated to be in the top 3.8% of American earners in 2015. Sanders could retire right now with a package believed to be worth between $1 million and $2 million. Based on figures reported by Bernie Sanders in August of 2105, Money Nation estimated his net worth at that time to be $528,014. Sanders, by any objective measure is clearly a wealthy American, a fact to which his supporters seem blind.
The hiring of Tad Devine as senior advisor, a long time Sanders friend and political operative since the 1990’s Sanders Congressional campaigns, has been very profitable for Mr. Devine and his firm. Devine Mulvey Longabough is a political consulting firm that has recently turned their attention to representing anti-establishment Democratic candidates, such as Bernie Sanders,
According to an amended monthly report for June 15, 2016 filed by the Sanders campaign with the FEC, Devine Mulvey Longabough, was paid $810,211.44. Devine and his firm earned additional compensation as a result of an $87 million ad buy placed with Old Towne Media, a firm that exists almost solely for the benefit of candidate Bernie Sanders. According to FEC documents,
“On top of Devine’s commission, which is paid out of funds sent to Old Towne Media, Devine Mulvey Longabaugh has received more than $4 million for media production from the Sanders campaign.”
Devine had an additional income stream flowing through the Sanders campaign, having admitted to the Washington Post that he was,
“Splitting a single-digit-percentage commission with the media buyers at Old Towne Media.”
Even at 1%, that means the split of an additional $870,00 going into the pocket of Mr. Devine off of the $87 million directed towards Old Town Media for Bernie 2016 campaign ads.
So much for another one of the Sanders inner circle, who now casts himself as a political revolutionary. Despite his 20 plus year association with his good friend Bernie Sanders, Devine has worked as a political consultant for Democratic presidential candidates such as John Kerry, Al Gore, and Jimmy Carter.
Tad Devine says this about his style of political advertisement,
“The frame, for us, is crisis.”
Mr. Devine, like Paul Manafort, has worked as a political consultant around the world, including a stint from 2006 through 2010 working for, among others, the pro-Russian, Ukrainian President, Victor Yanukovych.
The tactics employed by Tad Devine are strikingly similar to those employed by Paul Manafort of the Trump campaign. Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, who has a 40 year relationship with the new President, were partners in the political strategy firm of Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly. Mr. Stone is believed to have been responsible for the hiring of Manafort as the second campaign manager. Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly built a booming business working with foreign dictators around the world going back to the 1980’s. Roger Stone has said that,
”Manafort lined up most of the dictators of the world we could find.”
Bernie Sanders must have either known what he was getting into when he threw his lot in with Tad Devine during this last political season, or he was unwittingly taken advantaged of by the association that Tad Devine forged with Paul Manafort, whom we now know was deeply embedded in the pursuit of foreign interests, in particularly, Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader got more than he desired out of the 2016 United States elections, succeeding by defeating the competent candidate he feared, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The dust is only beginning to settle over the 2016 United States election. A picture is beginning to form that eventually will show the extent of the influence in that process by the former Soviet Union KGB agent, turned leader of our major geopolitical foe. The two candidates at the center of the scheme, the 2016 Republican nominee and Senator Sanders, appeared on the surface to be polar opposites. Ultimately, they were both speaking to the same group of Americans, mostly angry, working-class, white males. Indeed, it would be a sad spectacle to see the takeover by this faction of America’s progressive movement, which was an intellectual movement promoting,
“Original American democratic principles such as freedom, equality, and the common good.”
Also, let us hope that we are not now witnessing the death throes of real progressivism because of hijacking of this quintessential movement of the American left, by extremists working with extremists on the right.
The Republicans and their Russians collaborators must really appreciate the continuing damage being done to the Democratic Party prospects of retaking Congress in 2018. Bernie Sanders is no more a friend to the working class than was the former Soviet Union. Sanders, who is not now, never was, and never will be a Democrat, is not being accepted by rank and file Democrats as a leader, spokesperson, or candidate of the Democratic Party. It is time for the Independent Socialist from Vermont to end the charade of wanting to create a new Democratic Party, and to take his base elsewhere to form his own party.
The infighting and faux unity offered by Senator Sanders needs to stop before it is too late. Just because he claims to have our best interests at heart, doesn’t mean he does. We must face the fact that the Democratic Party and our nation got berned. Given the resulting administration, we must make sure nothing like this happens again. Clearly the time has come that the DNC must give Bern notice.